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European Commission Spokesman's Briefing for 01-02-08

Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: EUROPA, the European Commission Server at <>


News from the Spokesman's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi du Service Presse et Communicationb

Midday Express 08/02/2001

[I] Résultats de la Commission du 7 février 2001 - Outcome of Commission meeting of 7 February

(voir aussi see also ME of 7/2)

  • [01] Commission authorises Pascal Lamy to adapt "Everything but Arms" initiative in order to facilitate approval by Council of Ministers The European Commission has formally authorised Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy to propose modifications to its "Everything but Arms" (EBA) proposal to the EU Council of Ministers in order to facilitate approval of its groundbreaking plan to provide full duty and quota-free access for the world's 48 poorest countries (LDCs) into EU markets. Whilst safeguarding the principle that EBA will cover all goods except the arms trade, the scenario to be proposed to the Council will allow Mr Lamy to show flexibility on the transition periods for full liberalisation concerning only three particularly sensitive products (sugar, rice and bananas), if necessary. This would be counterbalanced by the immediate provision of increased effective market access for LDCs. Mr Lamy said : "Our priority is to deliver on our proposal to be the first to open up our market fully to poor countries. I am confident that necessary the room for manoeuvre I have been given today will ensure the proposal enjoys the support of the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament so that EBA will become a reality as soon as possible."
  • [II] Other news - Autres nouvelles

  • [02] La Commission adopte un livre vert sur une politique intégrée des produits La Commission européenne a adopté un livre vert sur une politique intégrée des produits (PIP). Son principal objectif est d'améliorer la performance environnementale d'un large éventail de produits durant tout leur cycle de vie. Le livre vert propose une stratégie visant à développer et à recentrer les politiques environnementales liées au produit afin de favoriser la création de débouchés pour des produits plus écologiques. Les produits de l'avenir devront être conçus en utilisant moins de ressources, avoir un impact plus limité sur l'environnement, présenter des risques moindres pour celui-ci et prévenir la production de déchets dès le stade de leur conception. La politique intégrée des produits a été qualifiée d'élément novateur majeur du 6ème programme d'action en faveur de l'environnement et constitue l'une des priorités en matière d'environnement de la présidence suédoise du Conseil. Le livre vert a pour objet de lancer un vaste débat sur la manière de parvenir à un nouveau modèle de croissance et à une meilleure qualité de vie par la création de richesses et la compétitivité, sur la base de produits plus écologiques.
  • [03] BSE : results of the Standing Veterinary Committee The Standing Veterinary Committee (SVC) yesterday discussed three proposals for European Commission decisions to further combat any risk related to exposure to BSE. It gave a favourable opinion on the proposal to remove the vertebral column from all cattle over 12 months. Conditional on increased testing of certain categories of animals for the presence of BSE, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Portugal and the United Kingdom will be exempted from this requirement. In addition, this proposal bans the use of mechanically recovered meat from all bones of ruminants, ovines and caprines. After formal adoption by the Commission in the next days, the decision will take effect from 31 March 2001. Secondly, the SVC voted in favour of a proposal to authorise, from 1 March onwards, the use of certain hydrolysed proteins from fish and feathers in animal feed. The third proposal concerning new requirements to pressure-cook rendered fats from ruminants for food and feed was also discussed by the Committee but was deferred to a next meeting for further consideration.
  • [04] La Commission propose de réduire la bureaucratie dans les transports maritimes La Commission européenne a adopté une proposition de Directive qui simplifiera les formalités déclaratives pour les navires faisant escale dans les ports communautaires. Actuellement, ces formalités varient considérablement d'un Etat membre à l'autre, et la Commission a décidé de mettre fin à cette situation néfaste en proposant une série normalisée de modèles de documents pour l'application uniforme des formalités dans l'Union. Loyola de Palacio, Vice-Présidente de la Commission en charge des Transports et de l'Energie, a expliqué que "fondamentalement, un navire doit communiquer toujours les mêmes renseignements dans les ports où il fait escale. Cette tâche simple devient complexe du fait de la grande variation des modalités de communication de ces renseignements d'un Etat membre à l'autre. La Commission a donc décidé de remédier à cette complexité en proposant l'adoption de modèles uniformes permettant de remplir ces formalités déclaratives." "Cette proposition de la Commission est une innovation importante qui bénéficiera à l'ensemble de la communauté - armateurs, chargeurs, agents maritimes -, et qui s'appliquera aussi bien à la navigation à courte distance qu'en haute mer, quel que soit le pavillon", a-t-elle ajouté.
  • [05] Commission publishes consultation paper on IATA passenger tariff conferences The European Commission publishes today a consultation paper seeking views on whether the IATA passenger tariff conferences ought to continue to enjoy an exemption from European competition rules. The Commission is proposing to renew the current block exemption for passenger tariff conferences for one year, i.e. until June 2002, while considering its future policy in the sector. Tariff conferences are usually considered a clear restriction of competition in that they involve price fixing, but they can also secure a benefit for consumers in the form of interlining - the ability to buy a single ticket for journeys involving several different airlines. The consultation paper starts from the assumption that interlining brings both economic and consumer benefits, but seeks comments by May the 1st on whether the restrictions are necessary to secure these benefits.
  • [06] Structural Funds : Anna Diamantopoulou signs 7-year training and employment support package for East Germany Anna Diamantopoulou, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, has signed the new federal training and employment promotion programme for East Germany, which will run until 2006. Over euro 1,677 million in European Social Fund support will go towards helping job seekers and workers, in particular young people and the long-term unemployed, under this Objective 1 programme for all new Länder. Six regional programmes for East Germany will provide a further euro 4,187 million in European Social Fund support.
  • [07] Premiers résultats de l'Eurobaromètre 54 (automne 2000) Réalisé en novembre et décembre dernier auprès de plus de 16.000 citoyens de l'Union européenne, l'Eurobaromètre 54 indique une stabilité d'ensemble des principaux indicateurs clés et confirme que les Européens sont optimistes quant à l'évolution de l'emploi. On constate en outre une légère amélioration de l'image de la Commission européenne au cours du dernier semestre. Les principaux résultats de cet Eurobaromètre sont disponibles à l'adresse Internet suivante :
  • [08] Poul Nielson underlines how effective development cooperation can contribute to conflict prevention In a speech to the Foreign Policy Centre in London today (8 February), European Commissioner for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Poul Nielson, sets out how the European Union's development cooperation can make an important contribution to preventing conflicts in developing countries. While saying what the EU can do, and how it can do it better, Mr Nielson also points out the EU's ability to prevent conflicts is limited without a truly Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). If EU Member States are serious about conflict prevention, they have to be more disciplined in taking stands on foreign policy position vis-à-vis developing countries. The "C" in CFSP stands for "Common" - not "Convenient". In order to remedy the lack of coordination in Member States views, echoing the views expressed by President Romano Prodi last year to the European Parliament, Mr Nielson stresses the need to use the EU method, including making the office of the High Representative a community competence. Further down the road, Mr Nielson adds : "A natural consequence of CFSP and ESDP would therefore be for Member States to speak with one voice in the UN Security Council".


    From EUROPA, the European Commission Server at
    © ECSC - EC - EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg, 1995, 1996

    Midday Express: News from the EU Commission Spokesman's Briefings Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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